The Deli Philly's Featured Artist(s) Poll Winner: The Soft Spots

By: Alexis V.

April 30, 2015

Religion can bring people down many paths. For Shane Gallagher and the rest of The Soft Spots, it appears to have led them to an island oasis filled with pretty harmonies, shimmering synths and good vibes (and sometimes animal noises). The trio, which also includes Truong Ta and Corey Pass, has an ambitiously busy year ahead of them, which you can learn about along with the bands origins and much more below.


The Deli: How did you start making music? 


Shane Gallagher: Well, I started singing in the choir at church when I was 4 years old. Those experiences singing in church really shaped my spiritual connection with music. Flash forward about 10 years later when I impulsively bought a ukulele while browsing a music store with some friends. I always wanted to learn how to play an instrument, and when I saw the ukulele, I figured it was much cheaper than a guitar or something, so if I wasn't any good, it wouldn't be a big loss. 


The first time the band all got together was 2008? We used to record Christmas songs every year and make CDs to give to family and friends. It slowly evolved through the years into The Soft Spots.


TD: Where did the band name The Soft Spots come from? 


SG: I was taking a shower one day, and it just came to me. The best ideas always come when you're in the shower. I knew I wanted a band name that was catchy and easy to resonate with. I figured everyone's got weaknesses; everyone has soft spots.


TD: What are your biggest musical influences?


SG: If I were to narrow it down to two of our biggest influences, I'd have to say The Beach Boys and The Cure.

What I love about both bands is what you get beneath the surface. With The Beach Boys, their reputation is all fun in the sun and good times, but when you dig a little deeper, some of their best songs are the most heart-aching songs you could ever listen to. The opposite can be said about The Cure. They are a band whose reputation is that of gloom and sadness, but they have the most uplifting and hopeful music I've ever heard.


TD: What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?


SG: Lately, I've been getting really big into this band from Philly called Nothing. I love their dreamy, shoegazing aesthetic. The Soft Spots would love to open for them someday.


I've also been listening to a lot of old Hawaiian records from the 50s and 60s. Whenever I put one of those records on, I'm instantly transported to a magical island where everyone is relaxed and happy and dreaming.


Gary Numan is really something else too.


TD: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?


SG: The first concert I ever went to was Ozzfest 2002. I was 12 years old at the time, and loved every minute of it. When I look back, that concert was definitely not the right atmosphere for a 12-year-old kid, but I really had a blast.


I think the first album I ever bought was Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morrissette. I think I was 5.


TD: What do you love about Philly?


SG: There's this new Tiki bar called The Yachtsman that is awesome. They serve up some fine cocktails. 


TD: What do you hate about Philly?


SG: Potholes.


TD: What are your plans for 2015?


SG: The Soft Spots have a LOT going on in 2015. We're gearing up to release a follow-up EP to our debut Gently Down The Stream that is titled Life Is But A Dream. We recorded the two EPs during the same sessions, and they both work very well as separate releases, but also play well together like a full-length. We also have a lot of groovy music videos in various stages of completion. Also, we're setting up a lot of local shows, and plan on doing some promotional work with Never Better this summer. I've been wood-burning these handmade Tiki necklaces that have a secret flash drive inside of them. The plan is to release both EPs as well as all our videos and B-sides and demos and stuff on these necklaces. The flash drives have a lot of storage space on them so people can put whatever they want on there, and carry it around on a cool little Tiki necklace. 


There's been talks of having a big luau this summer with a bunch of friends, and we're thinking about recording a bunch of stripped-down, acoustic, sing-along style covers at the party. Then, we’ll release it as either an EP or a full-length. We're friends with a lot of different musicians and bands, and we'd love to put out an album that celebrates that. We'll probably call it The Soft Spots' Luau or something like that.


TD: What was your most memorable live show?


SG: Our most memorable live show so far has got to be our first show at Kung Fu Necktie. First of all the sound guy was ON POINT. We played a mean set downstairs, and we've been in the habit of making monkey noises and birdcalls between a few of our songs. We started making these jungle animal sounds, and suddenly everyone in the audience was freaking out, pounding their chests and making monkey noises with us! It felt like some kind of post-punk Planet of the Apes or something. What a riot. 


TD: What's your favorite thing to get at the deli?


SG: Honey smoked turkey.